Seeking to open new avenues for women officers in the force, the Indian Army is planning to deploy them as cyber warriors to deal with the threats in the domain.
The proposal has been discussed by the army chief, Gen Bipin Rawat, with his senior commanders and would be implemented in the near future as the force wants to utilise the women officers "more advantageously".
"The force has plans of utilising the women officers more effectively in new cadres such as cyber which is a fast emerging trade in the armed forces as they face major cyber security threat from both state and nonstate actors," army sources told MAILTODAY here.
The women officers would also be included in the field of language training to the army personnel and architecture as permanent commission officers, they said.
Cyber warfare is fast developing as one of most important fields of concern for the forces as their networks and computers are continuously under the threat from adversaries such as China and Pakistan.
The three services are coming up with a cyber warfare agency under the integrated defence staff to tackle the attacks as well as to create an offensive capability to deal the issue.
Recently, the Shekatkar Committee also recommended that officers of the army education corps could also be used as cyber warriors as the branch is getting disbanded.
The sources said the intention of the army is to provide more opportunities in the women officers in the fields where they can contribute their best.
Sources said the force also would also be favourably considering the grant of permanent commission to the women officers provided they meet the benchmark.
The army has been granting permanent commission to women officers in limited number of branches such as legal and education but is yet to induct them in direct combat units such as infantry.
On the language courses to be imparted by women officers, sources said a large number of troops and officers are getting trained in important international languages such as Mandarin and Arabic to deal with the emerging threats.
Army is going to induct women as jawans also as it plans to hire 850 of them in the military police branch where they would help the troops to handle situations where women are involved like females pelting stones at forces carrying out operations.
After having 850 of them initially, their numbers would be increased gradually in the lower ranks as females are till now limited only in officer cadre.
The roles of military police include policing the cantonment and army establishments, prevent breach of rules and regulations by soldiers, maintaining movement of soldiers as well as logistics during peace and war, handling prisoners of war and extending aid to civil police whenever required.
Very few countries including Germany, Australia, Canada, the US, Britain, Denmark, Finland, France, Norway, Sweden and Israel have allowed women in combat roles. The Indian Air Force has also inducted three women officers as fighter pilots and would be joining a MiG 21 squadron in near future.